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South Korea's January factory output sets worst fall in 6 years

[SEOUL] South Korea's industrial output in January dropped by its fastest clip in six years over December, data showed on Monday, far missing expectations and highlighting a shaky recovery of Asia's fourth-largest economy.

Factory output in January fell 3.7 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms from December, the Statistics Korea data showed, while the December reading was revised up to a 3.4 per cent gain from a preliminary 3.0 per cent rise reported earlier.

The output in January fell by the worst monthly pace since a 10.5 per cent drop in December 2008.

The median forecast from a Reuters survey of analysts had tipped the factory output to fall 0.1 per cent in January after adjustments for seasonal effects.

In annual terms, output rose 1.8 per cent in January following a revised 1.1 per cent gain in December, compared with a 0.4 per cent rise tipped in the same Reuters survey.

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Service-sector output in January slipped by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent from the previous month, following a revised 0.2 per cent gain in December.


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